28 March 2010

It’s no Cirque du Soleil but it’s not a Circus of Horrors either!

Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant – Paul Weitz

Having read the first book in this series, i didn’t have high hopes of it being a decent adaptation, because of the amount of the films that have come from kids books, only two series come to mind that have been okay and mild success, you may have heard of them, Harry Potter and Twilight? No, nor did i until i googled it. Anyway, the success rate is slim, which lead me to believe that this wouldn’t worked and being backed into a corner, the film came out fighting. It may have its lapse moments, with a few dodgy actor choices, but overall it’s a good film. For teenagers and young people, it’s entertaining and for the adults, John C. Reilly kills it. I know it’s the comedy guy from Step Brothers and Talladega, but he really pulls it off and without him, i think the film wouldn’t of been as good. He steals it; i just wish they had more of him.

Anyway, the film follows, based on the books written by Darren Shan, which is the name of the lead character, which is strange, kinda like Lemony Snicket, but less weird. It follows Darren, a young teenager, as he meets a vampire, Crepsley and becomes his assistant. Other people are not happy with this and threaten to kill them both, some bald geezer and some other British vampires, plus a war is about to happen between these vampires, ones who eat and kill humans and ones who don’t. It’s a different take on the vampire genre. It all starts with Steve and Darren, like secret best friends, as they like weird things like spiders and the undead. Steve is really unsettling for some reason, i don’t know if it’s the actor, but just something about him makes me shiver in a horrible horrible way. You’ll notice what i mean if you do check this film out. The plot is simple, but the film is made in an honest and decent manner, which leads it to be a good adaptation and be an okay film.

It has moments that are different and have good direction, but i guess that’s because it’s Paul Weitz, who you can kinda trust with these sorts of franchises. William Defoe also appears as a camper version of Vincent Price, which is no mean feat, I’ve seen him in Daybreakers and now this, it feels like a Dafoe weekend, i might have to watch Spider-Man, Life Aquatic and possibly Antichrist, but i might skip that last one, sick in my mouth. Back to the film, it’s decent, it has its moments, it will keep you entertained but it won’t push you.


Simon Childs

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